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Candidates in Iloilo City promise a free and fair election in 2022.

As they joined Wednesday’s interfaith prayer for peace and unity, caravan, and covenant signing, the majority of the 37 candidates running for various positions here pledged to hold clean and honest elections in 2022.

In an interview on Wednesday, Election Assistant II Jonathan Sayno expressed hope that candidates would be aware of the activity.

The nearly half-day activity was a mix of virtual and caravan activities.

The organizers, which included the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Army (DILG), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Commission on Elections (Comelec), began with an interfaith prayer via zoom from their base at the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) headquarters.

Virtually all of the contenders and religious groups were there.

Following that, the organizers led a procession, carrying a copy of the covenant for the candidates to sign.

To avoid crowds, none of the candidates were allowed to accompany the convoy, according to Sayno.

“The signing took place while the caravan was in transit. “We brought the backdrop and a copy of the pledge for candidates to sign while waiting in their respective district’s churches,” he explained.

The final stop was at City Hall in Iloilo, where most of the incumbent candidates were waiting.

“Hopefully, the candidates will conduct their campaigns in a peaceful and professional manner, avoiding the use of force or intimidation, and never engaging in vote-buying.” “This is just a reminder that the elections must end peacefully, especially since we are in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.

After one withdrawal, only 37 of the 38 candidates who filed certificates of candidacy for various positions in the city made it to the Comelec list.

In the instance of former councilor Joshua Alim, who died of sickness, Sayno said his family has already indicated that a replacement will be fielded.

Four candidates are running for the city’s lone district seat in the House of Representatives, three for mayor, two for vice-mayor, and 28 for Sangguniang Panlungsod seats, according to the Comelec official ballot.

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